- Original release year: 2013
- Consoles: PS3 (remaster: PS4)
The Last of Us and developers Naughty Dog often get me into trouble with a lot of gamers. I can be, let’s just say, overly critical. I am critical of the Uncharted series and, at first, I was critical of The Last of Us.
The first couple of hours of playing The Last of Us, I undoubtedly found it to be a good game, but I questioned whether it was truly the masterpiece both fans and the gaming media were proclaiming it to be. I questioned how it was different from any other action-adventure game with zombies, I questioned its linearity, I questioned the stealth segments and I questioned the repetitive “puzzles” that usually involved either “oh, we need to get over that gate, there must be a conveniently placed object somewhere that we can move and use to climb on in order to get over the gate” or “oh no, Ellie can’t swim and there’s lots of water and shit. Better find a wooden raft for her to float on”.
But sooner or later, it hit me. The Last of Us is a masterpiece. The game may have some repetitive puzzles, may be linear in places, may be yet another ‘zombie game’ and yet, it just doesn’t matter. Everything is crafted beautifully, with stunning environments and amazing attention to detail. I have never felt so emotionally involved in characters in a video game like I did with The Last of Us. The story is brilliant and the focus on the growing bond between Ellie and Joel is nothing short of fantastic. There are moments when I genuinely had tears trickling down my cheeks (well, almost).
The Last of Us is one of the most compelling, engaging and emotional story-driven adventure games of all time. It may take a short while to get into (at least it did for me), but it doesn’t take long for the characters and story to really draw you in. Before you know it, you can’t put the game down.
I’ll end by quoting Eurogamer’s review, because they said it better than I ever could: “It starts out safe but ends brave; it has heart and grit, and it hangs together beautifully. And it’s a real video game, too. An elegy for a dying world, The Last of Us is also a beacon of hope for its genre.”